How Teamwork Can Push Your Sales to New Heights

When most in the security industry talk about converged solutions, they are typically referring to physical and IT technologies merging together. But the concept also applies to the sales process where a converged, company-wide effort promotes higher likelihood of success.

Selling in a converged market for the past 13 years has taught me some valuable lessons about technology, business strategies, building communication bridges between disparate departments and learning how difficult change can be for everyone in the security gene pool. There is one lesson that stands out from all the rest.

Delivering “converged” value is a differentiator and yields a company competitive advantage if everybody in your boat is willing to row in one direction at the same time. If everyone is not rowing in the same direction at the same time, your company will end up going in circles instead of moving toward increased market share.

In other words, siloed departments are a detriment and teamwork throughout an organization is critical. I know, in the Obvious Olympics, pure gold medal. While easier said than done, there are some ways that work pretty well.

Setting Converged Ground Rules

For starters, here are a few pointers that may help guide your converged competitive advantage journey:

  • Network-centric solutions and products are not the sales force’s responsibility to sell by themselves. They can’t do this alone, trust me on that one! When a sales team is not confident, the technical team has got their back regarding network solutions that will stay in their comfort zone. This means you should rethink how your company “defines” selling, who that involves and how that will build your brand, which is your largest business asset.
  • Selling more complex technology isn’t easy. It takes an informed leader who can collectively gain commitment from the installation, project management, operations, service and sales teams to follow their vision.
  • When the entire team can wrap their heads and hearts around new technology or business service offerings, you create excitement and a “force multiplier” effect for your sales teams. You fight a little harder when you know you have a platoon of Marines to back you up!
  • Only a very small percentage of salespeople have the heart, soul and guts to venture into the wilderness of new product technology and sell new solutions for the first time to customers. Don’t expect results because you asked them to sell it; it won’t happen most of the time.

To make a sustainable sales strategy work, everybody needs to be onboard early in the process. Even more important is they want to ask questions, have time to mull it over and provide input to the strategy. Their input could be about training, responsibilities, why are we doing this and what happens if we don’t? Anticipate, listen carefully and be prepared to learn rather than command.

Working Magic Methodically

The first challenge will be your technical and service teams, and for a darn good reason. They will have to make it work and keep it working, which is always a challenge with newer technology. They have to pass the “red face” test in front of customers, and by the way not just any customer. We are talking IT customers that can be technically strong and perhaps a bit intimidating. Without realizing the human nature issues to deal with, you are going nowhere in the HOV lane on the technology turnpike.

Take a methodical, phased approach of talking, educating, training and, most importantly, listening to your team. In my experience and probably yours as well, technical teams hate surprises, especially if they are “sales” surprises. Given time to understand the what, when, where, why and who over six to eight weeks, you can build technical curiosity, commitment, enthusiasm and momentum for network solutions.

I just did this with a systems integration client and here are the steps I used:

  1. Security Business 101 — the very basics of running a security business
  2. Security Business 102 — the reasons and costs of adding people to grow the business
  3. Security Trends 101 — what is happening in the “big picture” security industry around us
  4. Security Trends 102 — what is happening in our specific market with competitors and customers
  5. IP Video 101 — the basics of this technology (1-16 cameras) vs. analog

OK, you get the idea. Take this approach to deliver ideas in 20- to 30-minute bites. Invite sales and operations, but start early in the day and bring coffee and donuts because, hey, you have got to get those crews out there installing, selling, and servicing your customers. This is a different, more thoughtful and personal approach than having your manufacturer rep come in for a two-hour training session.

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About the Author


Paul C. Boucherle, Certified Protection Professional (CPP) and Certified Sherpa Coach (CSC), is Security Sales & Integration’s “Business Fitness” columnist. A principal of Matterhorn Consulting, he has more than 30 years of diverse security and safety industry experience including UL central station operations, risk-vulnerability assessments, strategic security program design and management of industry convergence challenges. Boucherle has successfully guided top-tier companies in achieving enhanced ROI resulting from improved sales and operational management techniques. He is a charismatic speaker and educator on a wide range of critical topics relating to the security industry of today and an accomplished corporate strategist and marketer whose vision and expertise in business performance have driven notable enterprise growth in the security industry sector.

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